Cumbrian-based Holstein breeders the Hodgson family of the Wormanby herd have been announced as the winners of the 2015 Holstein UK Premier Herd competition.
The award which was presented at UK Dairy Day, Telford, was judged by last year’s winners, Eifion and Wyn Jones from the Carmarthen-based Feithy herd.
Congratulating Harry, Margaret, David and Louise Hodgson, the judges said they had been impressed with the standard across all the finalists. “Every herd we saw was of an exceptional quality, it was an absolute pleasure to see such a high standard of Holsteins across the country,” explained Wyn Jones.
“All the finalist herds are winners in their own right and all had good cows and wow cows, but as a herd the Wormanby herd had the most consistent quality throughout. It was a herd with great strength in depth throughout the herd.”
The Wormanby herd comprises 170 cows including 52 EX and 80 VG averaging 11,000kg at 4%bf and 3.24%p on twice a day milking.
David Hodgson said: “We are overwhelmed and delighted to win the Premier Herd, having won the Northern Area region on two previous occasions it is definitely third time lucky for us. We have always tried to breed a herd of balanced, uniform cows with deep pedigrees.”
Runners up were previous winners R V Winter and Son’s Corringham herd, their 2008 Premier Herd now comprises 181 cows yielding an average of 9901kg, with 66 Excellent and 87 very good classified cows in the herd and 100 high yielders housed on sand cubicles.
Having previously won the Premier Herd award in 2008 and been runner up in 2012 the Winter family of Mike, Shirley and Matt, have proved consistent contestants and currently have 17 cows classified at 93 points or more.
And taking the honourable mention spot were Robert and Miranda Bowen with their long-established Carmarthen-based Lan herd.
This herd which was established in 1924 has been the Welsh regional winner twice before and currently milks 120 cows averaging 9500 litres, with 46 cows classified Excellent and 52 very good.
Concluding the judges said it had been a pleasure to see so many good cows in a variety of systems across the UK. “It has been really pleasing to see exceptional Holsteins in every herd we’ve visited and the warm welcome and hospitality we’ve received from all finalists has been excellent.”